Brasserie Montmartre – Restaurant Review

Aug 03, 2011

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With my Francophile switch ratcheted up a few extra notches after recently watching Midnight in Paris, I decided to visit the recently remodeled gastro-pub fusing French cuisine with contemporary Pacific Northwest flare Brasserie Montmartre.

Reopening this past spring, chef-restaurateur Pascal Chureau (raised in the Bordeaux region of France) with Michael Hanaghan, chef of former Ten 01, recreated the space that morphs from one interior style to the next. With six outdoor cafe tables, potential customers initially observe a traditional Parisian cafe allure, and if they are strolling by between the hours of two and six in the evening any day of the week or 10 and midnight on Monday through Saturday, they will hear whispers of live French music coming from inside as I did when guitarist John Butler was casually perched in the front corner of the restaurant.

Upon entering, the vast height of the ceiling is startling, yet welcoming revealing contemporary touches of the exposed skeletal system of the building. Simple white walls paired with black tables, chairs and booths with a smattering of rustic modern chandeliers and chalk boards sharing lists of cheeses, wines and oyster selections introduce the patrons to the idea of the melding of old meets new meets the Pacific Northwest.

Two bars, one topped with thick slabs of white marble while the other consisting of a thin varnished plank of wood are juxtaposed to reinforce again the idea of marrying multiple styles.

With a wine list full of French, European and American bottles, my waiter choose for me a Château Virgile Rouge from the south of France that had a medium body from a blend of syrah and cabernet sauvignon grapes and gracious flavor for my particular palette.

My waiter, Franck, was the prize of the evening as I was enthralled with his French accent and casual inclusion of French conversation while I reluctantly spoke entirely in English. While he is one of the few members of their staff that speaks fluent French and can rightfully claim that it is his native tongue (a native Parisian), many people, especially students and the Portland French alliance frequent Brasserie Montmartre as they dip their freshly learned French language skills into this tucked away French restaurant to improve their conversational technique.

While I was tempted to order the classic Steak Frites, I chose a delicious Spring Vegetable Risotto which did more than satiate with its buttery velvet texture, delicate forest mushrooms, ribbons of carrots, flava beans and English peas (view their entire food and wine menu here.)

Complemented by the wine (who says you have to follow the red white rule – “drink what you like, like what you drink” is what I abide by) and a uniquely shaped baguette, I was reminded how a restaurant can reflect the city it exists in and in doing so, without saying a word, flirt with its customers beckoning them to return. Residing in a community that appreciates skilled and decadent cuisine while having an unwavering preference for casual ease, Brasserie Montmartre demonstrated it is successfully well-versed in this particular vernacular.

Details for Brasserie Montmartre:

626 SW Park Ave.
Portland, OR  97205
Click here for hours



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One thought on “Brasserie Montmartre – Restaurant Review

  1. Oooh, this tempting treat is right around the corner from us! Always love to hear about people enjoying the neighborhood… Brasserie Montmartre is always delicious!
    Jane’s Vanity

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